You just got engaged!!! Woooo! Are you totally freaking out (in the best way possible) or settling into that new fiance status bliss? I know there’s a lot on your mind when it comes to what to do first after the question is popped and I have first-hand and insider wedding industry answers!
1. Pop the bubbly or find an equally fun and meaningful way to celebrate with your partner!!
It’s tempting to immediately start calling loved ones or jump right into planning mode, but take a hot second to celebrate this new chapter of your love story! Pop the champagne, have a fancy dinner, find a way to enjoy this moment just the two of you!
2. Call or go tell your loved ones! They are going to be SO excited for you!
It’s time to pick up that phone or make those plans to tell your closest friends and fam the exciting news!! Whether you yell it over Facetime or subtly show off your ring at brunch, let the celebrations continue!!!
3. Decide your top 3 priorities for your big day with your partner
Planning should always start with a conversation between you and your fiance about what’s overall most important to you BEFORE you start getting into the details. These priorities could be anything from the size or type of celebration you want to have, how you want the day to feel, which vendor is most important to you to have, etc.
Come back to these 3 priorities while you plan and when decisions become hard, they will help ground you and get you back on track to planning a celebration that feels authentic to you both!
4. Plan your budget
Base your budget on two main factors: Your priorities and a cost you are not willing to go over. Start with budgeting for your priorities (especially your must-have vendors) and then start loosly allocating the rest of your budget to the other planning details.
This step will take a lot of research to find out what vendors cost in your price range as well as what details you’ll need to consider to plan your big day.
5. Pick a Date! Woooo!!
Picking a date is super exciting! It’s the day you get to count down to as well as the day you get to celebrate each year after you tie the knot!
When choosing a date, using the priorities you talked about together will be a helpful way to find 1 out of 365 days! Is there a date that has sentimental value? Is there a season that you want to be married in? Is there a certain vendor who you know ABSOLUTELY has to be there? All these any more will help you narrow down to your perfect date.
and which order to ideally book them in! There is no rule in what order to book your vendors and it all comes back down to those priorities again, but the following order will likely be most helpful with planning if you have no idea where to start.
6. Contact and Book a Wedding Planner
A wedding planner’s job is not only to help you get a feeling for what your day could look and feel like but also manage all your other vendor relationships! That includes helping you find the perfect vendors for your style and budget if you have no idea where to start.
They will also be there on your big day to make sure the only thing you need to think about is how happy you are to be marrying your partner! It’s also totally okay to not book a wedding planner! It just means you’ll have more things on your plate throughout the planning process.
7. Contact and Book a Venue
Venue dates are usually the first to be snatched up during the wedding season (June-Sept). If having a specific venue or indoor location is important to you for your day, you’ll want to be reaching out to venues and touring them asap!
If you’re planning a smaller celebration that’s either mostly outdoors or with a local business (like a restaurant, cafe, brewery, etc.) as your venue, you may not need to book them as quickly but it’s still best to contact them early on.
8. Contact and Book a Photographer
Okay so I might be a bit biased here, but you’re going to want to have a photographer there to capture the memories from this day! You’ll be able to look back on the photos for years to come and remember all the amazing moments and memories in perfect detail.
Choosing a photographer can be REALLY hard! There are so many different shooting styles, editing styles, personalities, and price points. Start with reaching out to photographers whose editing style you really love or who you feel like you would be friends with based on their online social channels and websites. This person will be there with you the whole day and they should be the perfect fit for you and your boo!
Most photographers will hop on a call or meet with you over coffee to see how you vibe together and answer any questions you have! Don’t skip this step, it’s the best way to feel confident about who you’re choosing to capture your love story!
9. Ask your booked vendors their recommendations for other vendors
The wedding professional community is large but also very connected! Your venue, planner, and photographer are likely to know a whole selection of vendors to help bring your vision to life. Don’t waste your time researching alllll the different vendors you could possibly book when the vendors you already have, know the quality and have worked with many of these professionals before.
Your venue is most likely to be connected with: Caterers, DJs, Designers, Florists & Officiants
Your photographer is most likely to be connected with Hair & Make-up artists, Florists, Designers, Bridal shops, Officiants, Cake artists, Stationary artists & Videographers
Your planner is most likely to be connected with: honestly everyone LOL, that’s part of their job! They will also be able to hunt down more vendors if you have specific needs beyond their past connections.
10. Put your deposit down on your top vendors and sign those contracts!
This might sound obvious but for your own peace of mind, make sure you’ve put down your payments and signed the contracts to secure your chosen vendors for your date.
This step is not only for your vendors but also for you! Contracts protect your rights as well as your vendors, make sure you read them well and ask questions if you have any. Knowing that your vendors will 1000% be there the way you agreed on your day is a weight you will be happy to not have on your mind.
There is a lot to think about after you get engaged, but I want to leave you with a thought…
None of these steps need to happen within a specific amount of time, take them at your own pace and enjoy this new season of life, this new chapter of your love story! The most important thing to remember while planning your wedding or elopement is that this is a celebration of your love and no matter what, the best part will be saying ‘I do’ to your best friend.